Wolfgang Fahrian is dead! He was a regular DFB goalkeeper at a World Cup – soccer

German football mourns the loss of a former national goalkeeper.

Former DFB goalkeeper Wolfgang Fahrian died on Wednesday evening at the age of 80 from pneumonia. This was announced by his former clubs Fortuna Düsseldorf and Fortuna Cologne.

The inhabitants of Düsseldorf referred to the family.

Fahrian made his debut as a 20-year-old goalkeeper in the 2nd Division South on April 11, 1962 in Hamburg in the last international match before the tournament in Chile against Uruguay in the national team. He impressed with an impeccable performance and flew to Chile with the DFB selection in May 1962.

There he surprisingly kept the goal for national coach Sepp Herberger’s side. And this decision caused a lot of problems.


German goalkeeper Wolfgang Fahrian (right) in a dogfight with Brazilian Pelé in 1963Foto: dpa/dpa

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German goalkeeper Wolfgang Fahrian (right) in a dogfight with Brazilian Pelé in 1963Photo: dpa/dpa

Everyone, fans, journalists and the players themselves assumed that Hans Tilkowski (then Herne, later BVB) would be the number 1 in the World Cup. Herberger surprisingly put second division TSG Ulm’s only 20-year-old Fahrian in goal. Tilkowski then dismantled his hotel room out of anger.

Fahrian appeared in all four of the team’s games and was eliminated with the team in the quarter-finals by a 1–0 win over Yugoslavia. In this match, he showed an excellent performance.

Because he received too much signing money when he moved to Berlin from Hertha in 1964, ‘the black panther’ (his nickname) was banned for twelve months – but his national team career was history . From 1962 to 1964, Fahrian played ten times for the German national football team.

At club level, Fahrian played for Ulm, Hertha BSC, TSV 1860 Munich, Fortuna Düsseldorf and SC Fortuna Cologne. Fahrian played for Cologne for most of his career in the 1970s (1969 – 1976).

After his playing days, he worked as a consultant. Among others, he represented the well-known professionals Jürgen Kohler (56), Kevin Kurányi (40) and Kevin-Prince Boateng (35). After a heart attack in 2009, Fahrian largely retired from public life.

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